Mihnea Prundeanu bio

Image (c) Catalin Grigoriu

My name is Mihnea Radu Prundeanu and I love the mountains and the sports. I am an alpinist, geographer and mountain guide. I love to travel, to discover the beauty of nature, to meet new people and learn about different cultures.

My passion for the mountains started when I was a child. I grew up in a town close to the mountains where I would often make small excursions around the city, or go camping with the scouts in the Cozia, Buila Vanturarita and Lotrului Mountains (Romanian Carpathians). It is back then when I discovered the independence the mountains bring and when I started to enjoy leaving behind the agitated city life.

Education and evolution in alpinism

In 2005 I chose to study geography at the “Babes-Bolyai” University in Cluj-Napoca. I chose geography because I wanted to get even closer to nature, to know it better also from a scientific point of view. In 2008 I continued my studies at the “Babes-Bolyai” University with a masters degree in Planning and Regional Development.

The same year I started my university studies I became a member of the Cluj University branch of the Romanian Alpine Club together with a few friends, and thus started my long involvment in the alpine community. With the few members of our branch I started spending my weekends in the mountains, discovering climbing and my attraction for the high grounds.

As a student I continued to extend my horizons by gradually visiting several mountain ranges in Romania. After attending a 2007 winter alpinism camp at Balea Lake I felt confident enough and in September I left towards the Alps with the aim in mind to climb the Mont Blanc Peak.

In summer time I would part with difficulty from the climbing areas of the Turzii Gorges, Aiudului Gorges, Rimetea, and during winter time I would also sadly leave behind the snowy adventures in the Retezat, Rodnei, Piatra Craiului or Fagaras Mountains. In 2008 I was invited to be a part of the Romanian expedition to the Thian Shan Range in Central Asia. The leap from Mont Blanc to Khan Tengri, the 7000m peak seemed big to me. However, the expedition was a success and I became more confident in my own capabilities. Since then, my vision on alpinism has changed and I started to wish to continue discovering other high mountains and to live other alpine adventures around the world.

More technical ascents followed in the Alps, as well as expeditions in the Cordillera Blanca and the Himalayas, where in 2013 together with my partners I opened a new route on the NE face of Khang Shiling (6360 m). We also tried opening a new route on the Kullu Makalu (6349 m), but unfortunately we had to withdraw half way our ascent because of an accident. Later I discovered the frozen beauty of the Great Denali in Alaska, the reddish limestone in Taghia, Morocco, the big walls of Yosemite and continued trying to climb hard in the Alps. Since 2011 I am a certified mountain guide by the Romanian Association of Mountain Guides. Since 2017 I am an aspirant IFMGA / UIAGM mountain guide. When I am not involved in personal projects I enjoy sharing my passion for the mountains with those wishing to discover it.

Community and authentic alpinism

The local community has always been important to me, reason for which I invested a long time as a volunteer in educational activities, both national and international. In 2013 I participated as an instructor in the yearly event “Climbathon” organized by the Indian Mountaineering Foundation and sponsored by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India. Together with my colleagues from the Romanian Alpine Club I organized the Romania events of the UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup in Busteni (2009 – 2014), the Mountain Days in Ramnicu Valcea, climbing and alpinism camps, alpine ski and ski touring camps, festivals and events meant to educate the public at large and attract it towards the mountains and the values it expresses: integrity, honesty, exploration, and maybe most of all, self knowledge.

I believe that the authentic alpinism means exploration, discovery of new ways of getting to the top, minimalist, fast and clean ascents. And the projects and expeditions I will continue to be a part of will remain in this spirit of respect towards nature and exploration of isolated, pristine areas.


Ma numesc Mihnea Radu Prundeanu si indragesc muntele si sportul. Sunt alpinist, geograf si ghid montan. Imi place sa calatoresc, sa descoper frumusetea naturii, sa cunosc oameni si obiceiuri noi.

Pasiunea pentru munte o am de cand eram mai mic. Am copilarit in Ramnicu Valcea, mergeam frecvent in excursii prin jurul orasului sau in tabere cu cercetasii prin Cozia, Buila Vanturarita si Muntii Lotrului. Atunci am descoperit independeta pe care ti-o da muntele si a inceput sa-mi placa sa ma detasez de viata agitata a orasului.

Educatie si evolutie in alpinism

In 2005 am ales sa studiez geografia la Universitatea Babes-Bolyai din Cluj-Napoca. Am ales geografia deoarece imi doream sa ma apropii mai mult de natura, sa o cunosc mai bine si din punct de vedere stiintific. In 2008 mi-am continuat studiile la UBB cu un masterat in Planificare si Dezvoltare Regionala.

Tot in 2005, alaturi de cativa prieteni am devenit membru al Clubului Alpin Roman, Sectia Universitara Cluj si a inceput lunga mea implicare in comunitatea alpina. Atunci, cu putinii membrii ai sectiei, am inceput sa-mi petrec sfarsiturile de saptamana pe munte si tot alaturi de ei am descoperit catararea si atractia verticalelor.

Ca student am continuat sa-mi extind orizontul vizitand treptat mai multe masive montane din tara. Dupa participarea in 2007 la o tabara de alpinism de iarna la Balea am prins curaj si in luna septembrie a aceluiasi an am plecat spre Alpi cu scopul de a urca pe Mont Blanc.

Pe timpul verii ma desparteam cu greu de verticalele din Cheile Turzii, Cheile Aiudului, Rimetea si iarna de aventura din Muntii Retezat, Muntii Rodnei, Muntii Piatra Craiului sau Muntii Fagaras. In 2008 am fost invitat sa particip la o expeditie in Muntii Thian Shan din Asia Centrala. Saltul de la Mont Blanc la Khan Tengri, varful de 7000 m, mi s-a parut mare. Expeditia a fost insa un succes iar acest lucru mi-a dat multa incredere. De atunci viziunea mea despre alpinism si abordarea muntelui s-a schimbat, si am inceput sa imi doresc sa descopar in continuare alti munti inalti si alte aventuri alpine in jurul lumii.

Au urmat ascensiuni mai tehnice in Alpi si expeditii in Cordillera Blanca si Himalaya, unde in 2013 am deschis o ruta noua pe fata nord estica a lui Khhang Shiling (6360 m) alaturi de partenerii mei. Tot atunci am incercat inca o ruta noua pe Kullu Makalu 6349 m, dar din pacate a trebuit sa ne retragem de la jumatatea traseului din cauza unui accident. Mai tarziu am descoperit frumusetea inghetata a Marelui Denali din Alaska, calcarul rosiatic din Taghia, Maroc, peretii mari din Yosemite, California si am continuat sa parcurg trasee tehnice in Alpi. Din 2011 sunt ghid certificat de in Asociatia Ghizilor Montani din Romania. DIn 2017 sunt ghid montan aspirant UIAGM/IFMGA.  Iar cand nu sunt implicat in proiecte personale imi face placere sa-mi impartasesc pasiunea pentru munte cu cei care doresc sa il descopere.

Comunitate si alpinism autentic

Comunitatea locala si alpina a fost intotdeauna importanta pentru mine, motiv pentru care am investit mult timp ca voluntar in activitati educationale la nivel national si international. Astfel, in 2013 am participat in calitate de instructor la Climbathon-ul organizat de Fundatia Indiana Montana din New Delhi si Ministerul Tineretului si Sportului din India. Alaturi de colegii din CAR am organizat etapele de Cupă Mondială de Escaladă pe Gheaţă Busteni in intervalul 2009 – 2014, Zilele Muntelui in Valcea, tabere de escalada si alpinism, tabere de ski alpin şi de tură, festivaluri si evenimente menite sa educe publicul larg si sa il atraga inspre munte si valorile pe care le reprezinta: verticalitate, onestitate, explorare si poate cel mai important, cunoastere de sine.

Cred ca alpinismul autentic inseamna explorare, descoperirea de variante noi de a ajunge in varf, ascensiuni minimaliste, rapide si curate. Iar proiectele si expeditiile la care voi continua sa iau parte imi doresc sa pastreze acest spirit al respectului fata de natura si al explorarii unor munti izolati, neatinsi de civilizatie.